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Soil Decontamination at Rocky Flats

  • R. L. Olsen
  • J. A. Hayden
  • C. E. Alford
  • R. L. Kochen
  • J. R. Stevens

Abstract

During the last few years, many articles have appeared in newspapers and journals concerning radioactive contamination around Rocky Flats.1,2 The amount of plutonium in the soil has been of particular interest. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement3 on Rocky Flats lists the yearly alpha releases from the Plant since it was opened in 1952. The largest release was from “contaminated oil leakage.” In 1958, a drum storage area was established on virgin ground just inside the present-day east gate to Rocky Flats. The drums contained cutting oil and carbon tetrachloride contaminated with plutonium and uranium cuttings from the machining of nuclear weapon components. Deterioration of and leakage from the drums was first observed in 1964. This leakage resulted in the soil being contaminated. In January of 1967, the last drums were added to the area. Shortly after this time, drum removal commenced and continued until all drums were removed by January 1968. The level of contamination in the soil was measured at this time. The results showed levels from 2,000 to 300,000 dpm/100 cm2 and penetration depths of 3 to 20 cm. In April of 1969, a gravel cover of approximately 15 cm was applied and by July the area had been covered with a 7.5 cm asphalt pad.

Keywords

Pulp Density Disperse Form Decontamination Process Gravel Cover Soil Decontamination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. 1.
    C. J. Johnson, R. R. Tidball, R. C. Severson, Plutonium Hazard in Respirable Dust on the Surface of Soil, Science, 193: 488 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. A. Hayden, Size Fractionation Methods: Measuring Plutonium in Respirable Dust, Science, 202: 754 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Rocky Flats Plant Site, Golden, Colorado, United States Energy Research and Development Administration, ERDA-1545-D, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Olsen
    • 1
  • J. A. Hayden
    • 1
  • C. E. Alford
    • 1
  • R. L. Kochen
    • 1
  • J. R. Stevens
    • 1
  1. 1.Energy Systems Group Rocky Flats PlantRockwell InternationalGoldenUSA

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